Buenos Aires, March 22th. After three years of recuperation, farm-machinery sales plunged to previous 2016 stage in 2018. The report from the Census and Statistics National Institute (INDEC) shows that along the year it was sold only 789 combines and 6,226 tractors.

Combines units sales were placed between 2015 (693) and 2016 (1,064) levels, and well below the 2004/2017 average of 1.591 units per year.

Meanwhile, tractors units sales in 2018 also placed between 2015 (5,319) and 2016 (6,675) levels, and only 3% below the 2004/2017 average.

The drought that cut around 20 MMT of the soybean output was quoted as the main cause of the drop in the demand. But that was not the only reason. Farm-machinery industry is suffering the lack of financing in order to transfer that financing to farmers.

The interest rate in AR$ was well above 60% from May 2018 to the present, due to strict monetary policy from the Central Bank. Despite farmers could be financed in dollars most of them don’t qualified to access the credit.

Also, seed planters sales dropped 21% during 2018 with respect to 2017 to 1,758 units, while sprayers sales dropped 32% to 813 units. Interannual drop reached 46% in combines and 36% in tractors. These drops didn’t discriminate between import and national machinery.